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‘Lincoln’ one of Spielberg’s better movies

"Lincoln" Movie Review
By: By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
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Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field

Rating: Five out of five stars

 

A historical figure such as Abraham Lincoln is so well-documented throughout history that everyone has a reference for what the Great Emancipator looked or sounded like.

In Steven Spielberg’s new film, “Lincoln,” Daniel Day-Lewis plays the 16th president and so completely inhabits the role that he has become the defining interpretation of the man known as Honest Abe.

This is a performance so astounding that anything short of a golden Oscar statue would be a complete and utter travesty.

Day-Lewis has already cemented his place as one of the greatest actors of his era with his performances in films such as “There Will Be Blood,” “Gangs of New York” and “My Left Foot.”

From his reedy voice to his gangly gait, Day-Lewis is masterful and Abraham Lincoln may go down as his greatest role in a long line of great roles.

The film is equally enthralling, and unlike most biopics, only focuses on a month of Lincoln’s life.

This approach makes the film more focused and allows it to soak in the pressing issues of that era, namely slavery and the end of the Civil War.

With the war winding down, Lincoln is focused on the passage of the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery but also end the conflict with the Confederacy.

However, the southern states are all but gassed and peace may be coming with or without the amendment. To get his amendment passed, Lincoln must carefully maneuver an impasse with politicians that focus more on bickering than progress.

“Lincoln” is one of Spielberg’s better movies in the last few years because it’s equal parts gripping courtroom drama and fascinating character study.

Even if you’re not a history buff, “Lincoln” is too entertaining to pass up.

Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.